Luján Leads on Investments to Ready DOE National Labs to Meet U.S. Competition and Security Needs
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) applauded the Senate passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 – landmark legislation that represents the most significant investment in the United States’ science and technology leadership in a generation.
The bipartisan legislation builds on the Senate’s passage of the Endless Frontier Act, in which Senator Luján led a bipartisan group of his colleagues to ensure the U.S. Department of Energy remains central to our nation’s science and technology competitiveness strategy.
The CHIPS and Science Act provides critical authorizations for key federal scientific agencies – the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Commerce. Senator Luján negotiated historic investments in research and development at the DOE National Laboratories and significant funding to restore and modernize National Lab infrastructure. Additional victories secured by Luján include the creation of a nonprofit foundation for energy innovation and robust funding for National Labs to foster the next generation of science and tech entrepreneurs and to help local small businesses access the Labs’ premier facilities.
“Today, the Senate made clear that our National Laboratories are vital to advancing our scientific and technological leadership on the world stage. This bipartisan legislation includes numerous victories for New Mexico and our country that I fought hard to secure,” said Luján.
“This legislation invests $16.5 billion for our National Labs, including New Mexico’s Sandia and Los Alamos Labs, for critical research and development in key technologies, in addition to nearly $15 billion that I secured for necessary updates and upgrades to enhance their capacity to address 21st century challenges. The CHIPS and Science Act also expands successful programs to foster the next generation of science and tech entrepreneurs, and allows small businesses to access state-of-the-art facilities at the National Labs,” Luján continued. “Through these historic investments, our National Labs will continue their leadership in developing cutting-edge technology, maintaining our national security and global competitiveness while creating more skilled, good-paying jobs in New Mexico and across the nation.”
Key Provisions Secured by Senator Luján:
Department of Energy
- $17.6 billion for DOE Science and Innovation, including $16.5 billion based on an amendment that Luján authored to strengthen DOE’s research and development efforts in 10 key technology focus areas, including clean energy and energy efficiency, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and quantum information sciences. Last year, Senator Luján successfully passed this amendment with wide bipartisan support from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology.
- $14.7 billion for National Lab infrastructure and modernization, which was inspired by the Senator’s Restore and Modernize our National Laboratories Act. During his tenure in the House, Luján had introduced and passed this legislation.
- From updating facilities and roads to investing in the latest scientific instrumentation, this funding will support not only the technological capacity of the laboratories but also create local jobs in construction and equipment supply.
- $125 million for the Leveraging our National Laboratories to Develop Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders Act which Luján authored, introduced, and led to passage while serving in the House.
- This supports the Lab Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, which embeds entrepreneurial scientists and engineers at National Labs to perform early-stage R&D in order to launch energy or manufacturing businesses – a program currently being piloted in New Mexico.
- $125 million for the Promoting Small Business Innovation through Partnerships with National Labs Act, an effort Luján also led to passage while in the House.
- This provision provides vouchers for small businesses to gain access to premier facilities at the National Labs, spurring innovation and stimulating private-public collaborations.
- $250 million for a Regional Clean Energy Innovation Program, an effort led alongside Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.
- Through targeted investments, this geographically distributed program supports public-private partnerships for R&D and commercialization of diverse clean energy technologies.
- $40.5 million for the Partnerships for Energy Security and Innovation Act that Luján introduced and passed while he served in the House and co-led in the Senate.
- This provision creates a new nonprofit foundation to channel private-sector investments in support of DOE’s mission and to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies in energy, such as next-generation batteries, low-carbon fuels, and advanced materials.
- $975 million for the Microelectronics Research for Energy Innovation Act which Luján cosponsored in Senate.
- Accelerates American innovation and leadership in microchip technology by establishing two new microchip research and development programs within the Department of Energy.
- $250 million for a National Laboratory consortium to prepare for and address emerging biological threats, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This provision was developed from the National Laboratory Biotechnology Research Act introduced by Senator Luján.
National Science Foundation
- Promotes greater diversity in research and development
- Over 7 years, this bill doubles the proportion of NSF grant and fellowship funding for states that don’t currently get a large share of R&D dollars, also known as EPSCoR states, such as New Mexico.